Parent Survival Guide: Avoiding the summer slide

Parent Survival Guide: Avoiding the summer slide

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Rising 3rd grader D’Khota Bachlor is enjoying his summer, but also enjoying reading some of his favorite books.

“Dog man, Wings of fire, and Junie B Jones,” says Bachlor.

Dorchester District Two reading coach and teacher Susan Kephart says reading over the summer makes a big difference when students return to school.

She says it has the reverse effect for those who don’t read.

“They call it the summer slide because they are sliding backwards from where they left off so the teacher has to back up and then move forward,” says Kephart.

That slide Kephart says can mean starting almost two months back instead of starting at grade level.

She says at least 50 percent of parents don't even realize there is a summer slide.

Kephart says reading should be something every child in every grade level should do at least 20 minutes a everyday.

When choosing books, be sure that they are just right — not too hard and not too easy.

“If they are not practicing it, just like if you’re out on the ball field, you have to practice in order to get better,” says Kephart.

Kephart says it’s also important to ask your child questions about the book and characters to make sure they’re understanding what they’re reading.

You can also set goals for summer reading with incentives to make it fun. Those incentives could be as simple as taking your child for ice cream after reading few books to taking them to the beach or to see a movie after reading several books over the course of a week.

Depending on the age of the child and length of the book reading goals will vary.

She says having reading goals gives your child motivation to keep reading all summer long while having something entertaining to look forward to.

Ultimately it also sets your child up for success as the new school year begins.

“Teachers can tell right off the bat those students who have been reading because they are ready to hit the ground running,” says Kephart.

As for D’Khoda, he says he’s happy to be spending his summer exploring new books.

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